So, your ensemble’s been invited to perform abroad! This is an incredible opportunity to share your music and experience a new culture. But before you pack your instruments and board the plane, brush up on some essential ensemble etiquette for international travel.

Respectful Representation

  • Be an ambassador: You’re representing your ensemble, your community, and even your country. Dress modestly and professionally, and be mindful of local customs and how you present yourself.
  • Cultural sensitivity: Research performance etiquette in your host country. Is there a specific way to greet the audience? Are there any cultural taboos to avoid?

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

  • Punctuality is key: Respect your hosts’ time. Be on time for rehearsals, performances, and any scheduled events.
  • Prepared performers: Practice makes perfect, especially abroad. Arrive well-rehearsed and ready to showcase your ensemble’s best.
  • Stage presence with a smile: Project a positive and professional image on stage. Maintain eye contact with your conductor and fellow musicians, and remember to smile!

Be a Gracious Guest – and leave it better than you found it.

  • Open minds, open ears: Be open to new cultures and musical traditions.
  • Cultural exchange: Share your music and be eager to learn from others.
  • Leave it better than you found it:  Meaning that no matter what situation, relationships with your ensemble, interactions with people, places, and transportation, you should always leave it better than you found it. Don’t be remembered as the rude or loud group or a tourist horror story where they trashed hotel rooms or buses. This behavior can affect travel for others – some countries have even instituted tourist bans in some locations based off poor behavior from non-locals.

By following these tips, your ensemble can ensure a smooth, successful, and culturally enriching international tour. Now go forth, share your music, and create lasting memories!